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Access To Utilities

You can buy an acre for $1000 in some parts of the country. One of the reasons that you'd pay 400 times this amount for the same acre in certain areas of San Diego County is that the land would be serviced by utilities going directly to the lot. In some cases the utilities may even be trenched right up to the location of the pad. Some folks have it real easy!

When it comes to setting a price for a lot, utility access is king. If you've got easy access to power and water, and the lot has an area you can put a pad, someone will be willing to build there. In the case of most lots that have power 'available', this simply means that it is available at the edge of the lot. There may be a power line that you can get electricity from, and there may be a water pipe in the street.

There are many variables that come into play at this point. Water 'availability' may just mean that the parcel is in a water district. If this is the case, then you should be able to run a water line to the property. If you are lucky, the water line runs right up to the parcel's boundary. In some cases you may have to pay for a lengthy connection to a water main some distance away.

Water 'availability' also may or may not mean that there is a water meter. Every house needs a water meter. It has to be paid for, and there is also a range of sizes. If you have more than an acre in San Diego County you'll need a bigger water meter and it will cost you more. No water meter, add another $10,000-$20,000 to the cost of the lot.

If you have to trench water, electricity and telephone from the edge of the lot to the pad, you'll need to add trenching costs which can add up quickly. You can also add the cost of putting in a driveway here as well. If you need a 1000 foot driveway and have to trench utilities the same distance, the total bill could reach $200,000. Ouch.



This website has been written and developed by Rob Ransom, PhD. Rob has extensive experience working with buyers and sellers of vacant land in San Diego County, CA. Although Rob currently has a California real estate license he is retired from selling real estate.

If you have comments or suggestions regarding this web site, email Rob at the address below.


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This website is about buying and selling vacant land, lots, parcels in California, including San Diego County, Riverside County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Kern County. Land for sale in California. Includes information on land values, topography, access to utilities, septic and sewage systems, legal descriptions of lots. Use this site if you want to buy or sell land in California and other US states.